Can Chiropractic Help Cancer Patients?

Posted by Admin on May 1, 2012
Many cancer patients develop stress and pain-related symptoms as a result of their cancer treatments. Unfortunately the harshness of the therapy, while necessary, can still extract its toll on the patient. Chiropractic care has begun to be taken more seriously as part of a support therapy to more mainstream treatments.

Cancer Research UK suggests that chiropractic treatments can help cancer patients: “One of the main reasons why people with cancer use chiropractic treatment is to help control pain, headaches and tension. There is some scientific evidence to suggest that chiropractic therapy may help relieve pain, especially headaches and back pain.” 

For well over 100 years chiropractors have helped individuals with many kinds of disease states by correcting the spinal problems that lead to a decrease in nervous system function. Recently a peer reviewed double blind study by the University of Chicago Medical School showed that one upper cervical chiropractic adjustment was as effective at lowering high blood pressure in hypertensive patients as the standard medication protocol of two drugs used by medical doctors. The effects of the adjustment lasted through the entire period of the study, which was eight weeks. 

Though similar peer reviewed studies have yet to appear in medical journals in regard to cancer support, many patients are seeking chiropractors to aid in their overall health regimen – and often with their oncologists support.  The reason is that chiropractic doesn’t have a high risk factor that would need to be weighed against benefit before trying it. The safety of chiropractic is well documented and insurance actuaries know this to be true as demonstrated by the low premiums that doctors of chiropractic enjoy for professional liability insurance.

In the case of cancer patients, bone integrity is an important consideration since it could be compromised by metastases. Most chiropractors can offer a range of treatments that are both gentle and effective. 

A cancer diagnosis is often so overwhelming that an individual may feel that the restoration of optimal health a near impossible task. But in reality a cancer patient should largely do what anyone else would do to maintain their health, as well as dealing with specific cancer treatment protocols their doctor recommends.

By Dr. Bruce Shannahoff, D.C.
Valley Spinal Decompression Center

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